Three murals by a local artist have been installed in the San Gabriel Valley as part of an effort to elevate awareness about the Asian American experience and combat hate, officials said Tuesday.
The pieces, created by illustrator MariNaomi, are part of LA vs. Hate, Los Angeles County’s anti-hate initiative.
The building-sized comic strips depict the history and many contributions of the Asian American Pacific Islander community to L.A. County, the contemporary targeting of AAPI residents due to COVID-related backlash, and the journey from hate to healing.
“After a woman who looked a lot like my obaachan [grandmother] experienced a hate crime in my hometown, I was at my breaking point,” MariNaomi explained. “I was starting to feel hopeless, but then this project just came to me. It feels good to do something, to make art about the AAPI experience and promote a pathway to support, understanding, and safety.”
The full size installations, which were made possible by a gift from L.A. Care Health Plan, may be seen at the following locations:
— Garvey Park, 7954 Dorothy St., Rosemead
— Asian Youth Center, 300 S. San Marino Ave., San Gabriel
— Iona Work, 1500 Alhambra Road, Alhambra
“Throughout the pandemic, members of the AAPI community have faced horrific acts of racism and violence that go against the very principles that make Los Angeles County a welcoming and diverse home for communities of all backgrounds,” Board of Supervisors Chair Hilda Solis said. “These public art installations that were beautifully designed by local artist MariNaomi affirm to AAPI residents everywhere that we are here for them and will continue to advocate for their safety and well-being through the allocation of County resources to address acts of hate and support services for survivors through the LA vs. Hate initiative.”
LA vs. Hate was created in September 2019 and expanded in March 2021 by a motion authored by Solis to address rising acts of hate against the AAPI community.
“Our hope is that this amazing art project creates more dialogue about allyship, solidarity, and healing within the San Gabriel Valley,” said Michelle Freridge, executive director of the Asian Youth Center.
For more information, visit www.lavshate.org/.